His name was Spencer-Chapman, he’d come to address the school after the annual prize giving. I settled down, best one could on the wooden floor of the gym, to zone out for the speach. These occasions were usually directed at the ‘winners’ and I wasn’t one of them. However something caught my attention and I stayed in the room. I listened to what he had to say.
“…and for those of you who have not received prizes I want you to know that…” I can’t remember his exact words. The gist of it was about valuing personal integrity and that ‘succeeding’ in life not being dependent on passing exams and winning prizes. What he said, I heard and it went straight in, and stayed there to this day. He had recognized my inherent worth, and I believed him. Life was a struggle but deep in there what he said remained. What a gift, one that everybody is capable of giving too.
We have a saying in Buddhism, “When the disciple is ready the Master will appear”. I am so grateful that this man made his brief appearance just at the right time. I was ready to hear what he had to say, for that moment he was my teacher. People think they need to find a Master or teacher in order to progress in practice when what is needed is to listen more carefully.